When is Ganesh Chaturthi?
Ganesh Chaturthi Date
10, September, 2021, Friday
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated on Shukla Chaturthi of the month of Bhadra according to Hindu calendar. Generally, it falls between August and September in the Lunar calendar. It stays ten-days, and there are lots of variation from beginning to ends.
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What is Ganesh Chaturthi?
Ganesh Chaturthi is an auspicious festival of Hindus in India. Every year people celebrate this ten-days long festival. Devotees observe the Ganesh Chaturthi celebration to honour the elephant-headed god ‘Lord Ganesha‘. He is the younger son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. He is the lord of science and arts and the deva of wisdom.
He is also a symbol of good fortune, luck, prosperity. Throughout India and outside the country it has a significant influence over people. Another name of this festival is Vinayak Chaturthi, which marks the birth of Lord Ganesh.
What are the other names of Ganesh Chaturthi?
There are Almost 108 names of Lord Ganesh in Hindu scripture, and this festival is also known differently in different states. In Maharastra and Andhra Pradesh, people call it as Vinayak Chaturthi. In Goa as Parab or Cravath. In Kerala, people know it as Lamboodhara Piranalu.
Why is Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrated?
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in the honour of Lord Ganesha’s Birth. There are various stories behind the birth of Lord Ganesha, but two of them are the most important and common ones.
Ganesh Chaturthi Story
First Story:- Lord Ganesh is the younger son of God Shiva and Parvati. According to the first story, Parvati created him out of dirt from her body. She wanted protection in the absence of Shiva. She treated with Lord Ganesh as a guard and gave him the task of guarding her bathroom door. Once while Devi Parvati was taking a bath, in that time, Shiva returned home, and Ganesh stopped him. As he did not know who Shiva was. That made anger Shiva and he severed Ganesha’s head between the two after a tiff.
When Devi Parvati came to know about the occurrence, she became displeased. In turn, Lord Shiva promised her to get Ganesha’s life back. He sent some devas for searching a child’s head facing north. But they could not find any human child’s head which they could fix in the head of Ganesha. They could see only the head of an elephant, and Lord Shiva fixed that on the child’s body. And from then Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated.
The other famous story is that once Devas faced a problem because demons started harassing them. So they requested Shiva and Parvati to Creat Ganesha who would help them by demolishing demons. They thought Lord Ganesha could be a Vighnaharta(destroyer of obstacles) for rakshas (demons). Thus as an avatar Destroyer of Obstacles ( Vighnaharta) Lord Ganesh was created by Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati to help Devas.
Importance Of Ganesh Chaturthi
People believe that by praying Ganesha, they will able to fulfil their wishes and desires. So the main purpose of Ganesh Chaturthi is that devotees pray to him for being free from sins. And it leads them on the path of wisdom and knowledge.
Historically, since the time of King Shivaji, this festival has been celebrated. Lokmanya Tilak struggled for making Ganesh Chaturthi from a private celebration to a grand festival. From then people of all classes and castes of the society can come together. They can enjoy the festival by praying and making them in one unit.
For a long time, people have started celebrating this with a growing environmental awareness where there is a way to be friendly with each other as people observe it in an environmental scheme. Hence, they start making Ganesha idol with mitti(natural clay) and using flower and only essential items for decorating it.
How is Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrated?
Rituals of Ganesh Chaturthi
During the ten-day long festival, there are four main rituals. They are namely
- Ganpati Visarjan
The excitement of the festival starts in weeks before the actual beginning time of it. Artisans begin the preparation of making the idols of Ganesha with clay. They differ the statue in different poses and sizes. After decorating the god beautifully, people establish it at homes, temples or localities. At home and outside they arrange Flowers, garlands and lights to adorn the idol. Here people observe Pranapratishhtha. A priest chants mantra (holy words) to invoke life in the deity.
People offer prayers to the idol of Lord Ganesha. There are sixteen different ways of offering prayers. Shhodashopachara is the name of this Ritual. To celebrate the festival people start singing (especially religious songs), dancing to the drum beats. They also make a firework which enlightens up the mood of the festival.
The next Ritual is Uttarpuja, Which is about bidding farewell to Lord Ganesha. With deep respect, Ganpati Visarjan follows this. It is the time when the statue is ready to immerse in water. While carrying the idol and engaging it, devotees chant in the Marathi language “Ganpati Bappa Morya, Purchya Varshi Laukariya” That means ‘Goodbye Lord, please come back next year’.
4) Ganpati Visarjan
This is the last ritual of this ten days long festival called Ganpati Visarjan which follows after Uttarpuja. People gathers and take the statue of Lord Ganesh to the nearby river or sea and immerse in the water with prayers of well being.
There are two kinds of devotees of the festival. One who celebrate this at home and others pay a visit to Lord Ganesha at public pandals. People with due respect offer their prayer towards Lord Ganesha. Friends and families come together, and they spend a splendid time with each other.
People celebrate the festival by having a cup of milk or curds each morning. Panchamrut is one kind of Prasad which must-have for this Indian Ritual. There are some others recipes of Ganesh Chaturthi, and they are Puran Poli, karanji, basundi, shrikhand, shankarpali, modak, laddu, halwa, Kaju kothimbir Vadi, varan Bhaat, pathology, Amati etc.
Where is Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrated?
Ganesh Chaturthi is a festival which people celebrate throughout the state of Maharashtra. But it’s origin is attached as a public festival in the city of Pune more than 125 years ago. Ganesh Chaturthi has spread to the other states including Goa, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh. In Mumbai states, it becomes an auspicious festival for the devotees. The people of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar, Odisha also celebrates this festival.
Through the above discussion, one thing is clear that Ganesh Chaturthi is an important and prominent festival of India. By having fun and respect devotees observe it. The festival has a great variety from start to end.